"I believe that climate change is occurring -- the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor."
So writes Massachusetts's last Republican Governor, Mitt Romney, in his upcoming book (an advance proof of which I got my hands on today).
That's after Romney abandoned his relatively moderate Masssachusetts political persona, and veered rightward for a national GOP audience. And yet, it seems that even conservative Romney is not as far out there on climate change as the would-be next Republican Governor of the Commonwealth, Charlie Baker.
Last week the Boston Globe reported, at the end of an article about Baker's appearance at the Rappaport Institute, that Baker ducked a question about climate change -- with some embarrassing awkward rambling around the question. Today, seizing on that, the Deval Patrick campaign sent out a fundraising letter mocking Baker on that.
So, I called the Baker campaign this afternoon and had a long chat with campaign manager Lenny Alcivar on the subject of Charlie Baker's opinion about global warming. The bottom line is that Baker agrees that global warming is real, but "not being a scientist," Baker does not know whether, or to what extent, that climate change is attributable to human activity -- which Alcivar calls an "academic argument."
Granted, Baker seems to take environmental and energy issues seriously. But reasonable people, particularly those in public political life, do not question the scientific consensus on human-caused global warming -- unless they are either getting their worldview from Sean Hannity and Townhall.com, or trying to suck up to voters who get their worldview from those sources. And one of Baker's key attributes in this campaign is that he is among the breed of reality-based Republicans, not that other kind.